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Life, Unbounded

The Jumping Rocks of Mars

Before...and after (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.)

Now you don’t see it, now you do. Ten years into a mission that was originally going to only last a few months, NASA’s Opportunity rover continues to turn up surprises on Mars. In this case quite literally. Take a look at the following pair of images from the rover’s location at ‘Solander Point’, up [...]

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Life, Unbounded

A River Runs Through…Gale Crater

Close up of the crusty stream bed, a larger 'clast' is circled (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

It’s one thing to spot stuff from orbit above an alien world, quite another to get in close. Earlier Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter imagery of Gale Crater, now home to NASA’s Curiosity rover, had shown signs of what appeared to be something akin to an ‘alluvial fan’ spreading downwards from the crater rim. It was extremely [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Skiing To Mars: The Original Rovers

A Prop-M rover

As the world waits with bated breath for NASA’s Curiosity rover to attempt a safe landing on Mars on August 6th (EDT), it’s interesting to recall the rovers of times past. We’ve all heard about Spirit (R.I.P. 2010) and Opportunity (still kicking), and their immediate technological precursor Sojourner (part of the Mars Pathfinder mission), but [...]

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